Biased (imbalanced) awareness of space is common after stroke, initially affecting 65-84% of stroke survivors. It can be resistant to conventional rehabilitation and have a severe effect on recovery and independence.
The ability to hold and manipulate information in our minds is called our Working Memory (WM), and previous study has shown biased awareness of space is associated with poor WM.
For people without stroke, training of WM on a computer-based task at home has already shown potential for improving ability in a range of daily activities. In this study, the same type of training is investigated for its ability to improve biased awareness of space in stroke survivors. Equivalent home training of attention is also investigated as a comparison to training of WM.
Participants will receive either WM or attention training for 20 sessions of approximately 20 minutes over four weeks of study. They will also be compared against a group of stroke survivors who did not receive the home-computer training, both immediately after and three months following the study.
It is hoped that the study will determine the feasibility of such training for use in addition to conventional therapies. This could then allow professionals to focus on other areas of stroke support.
1 June 2014